Last minute preparations are underway for the Venice International Film Festival in Italy.
The 65th annual event is remarkable for the absence of Hollywood movies, due to the writers’ strike earlier this year.
Stars Brad Pitt and George Clooney will take to the red carpet in a few hours time to promote the Coen Brothers latest work “Burn after reading” which isn’t actually in the competition.
The only US films by well-known directors that are in competition are Jonathan Demme’s comedy “Rachel getting Married” starring Anne Hathaway and Kathryn Bigelow’s drama about Iraq called “Hurt Locker”, starring Colin Farrell and Ralph Fiennes.
Asia could take the Gold Lion for best film for the fourth year in a row – with three Japanese entries in the running.
One is cult director Hayao Miyazaki’s animated offering, “Ponyo on the cliff by the sea”.
Last year, Taiwan’s Ang Lee won with “Lust, caution”.
Four Italian films will also compete for top prize, including Pupi Avati’s “Il papa di Giovanni” -Giovanni’s Father.
This year’s festival jury is headed by German Director Wim Wenders of “Buena Vista social club” fame.
The festival runs until September 6.